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Peru: Distance is the biggest barrier to increased shipments of mango to Asia

Peru exported 200 thousand tons of fresh mango in the 2017/2018 campaign. 95% of the mango was sent to Europe and the United States, and the remaining 5% to other markets, such as New Zealand, Chile, China, Japan, and South Korea. spoke with the general manager of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Peruvian Mango (APEM), Juan Carlos Rivera Ortega, to discover the challenges facing the sector to increase shipments to the Asian market.

According to Rivera, the biggest restriction to increase mango volumes to Asia continues to be the distance between them. He said that they still hadn't found a way to quickly supply big volumes of mango to this promising market.

Maritime shipments from Peru to China take at least 28 days to arrive at destination, and no mango lasts that long. The Kent variety lasts up to three weeks on ship and up to 40 days from harvest to sale.

"We need faster ships so that the travel time is shorter. The other option is to preserve the fruit so that it lasts longer, but we still don't have a technique to achieve that, so the solution is to export by air, with cargo companies that carry more volume," he said.

He also said they had made some trials with a Chinese company but that the business hadn't consolidated because there is not enough round-trip merchandise traffic to charter a ship the size that the Chinese wanted.

New areas of mango
The general manager of APEM stated that new mango areas were being installed in the region of Lambayeque, and that, in the near future, Peru could increase it's mango production capacity by 10%.

He also said there were no new ventures in Piura (which produces 75% of the export mango), and that they didn't need them for now because the existing capacity was big enough.

The APEM is focusing its efforts on improving the productivity of the area that is already installed, he said. To do this, they have two manuals to manage the fruit properly (one for its pre-harvest and another for its post-harvest). 

In addition, he said, the APEM was developing a project to produce beneficial insects, some of which are already being used, such as Chrysoperla externa and Cereochrysa cincta, to control different pests, such as the fruit fly (a quarantine pest), thrips, and Mites.

He added that the APEM, the University of Piura, and other institutions, were acquiring a rain radar, which will allow them to monitor this climatic phenomenon.


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